More than 35 million individuals are currently living with Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) around the world. Many are opening out to the public with an aim to create awareness and serve as a warning to others but there are also individuals who choose to live in the cave as this disease is understandably embarrassing and degrading.
With the increasing number of peoples being treated with AIDS, many government bodies partnered with the United Nations (UN) and World Health Organization (WHO) for the increasing access to antiretroviral therapy (AVR). Although protective and advanced measures are being adopted by many government offices, private institutions, non-profit foundations and public organizations, the widespread of counterfeit medicines are continuously increasing but less attention are being paid into it as more and more issues are being considered as prior importance.
The Peterson Group, a non-profit organization battling against the illegal manufacture and distribution of counterfeit drugs is one of the team dedicated to eliminate the use of antiretroviral therapy in the black market, many of which are found to be composed of substances such as paint, chalk and many other compounds used in daily living.
Counterfeit Zidolan-N, a known drug used to counter HIV/AIDS is found to be released in great quantities in Kenya, Africa and Jakarta, Indonesia. Another drug, Truvada is said to be products of fraudulent manufacturers in the United Kingdom. These operations are already said to have been raided by the authorities but scam reports are continuously coming in as more and more people are continuously patronizing under the table sales of these drugs given that 240,000 of victims are under 15 years old. Most of them are without the difference of the real ones from frauds.
There may be reasons for the lack of access of legitimate, FDA-approved AVRs in the market. One of these is the fact that only 12.1 million individuals have been given access to real drugs, given that less developed countries are underprivileged without much focus and support from authorities and many more individuals living almost under the rock.
The cost of legitimate drugs is also one cause of purchasing the more affordable ones with little or no awareness for its real ingredients.
Lack of security is also one of the reasons of the widespread. In Indonesia, for instance: the archipelagic geography of the country provides open ports which enable fraudsters to transfer and import the drugs without being detected.
Everyone, everywhere, involved in the fight against AIDS wants there to be a cure. But until a cure is found, ARV represents our only form of life-saving treatment. We have done our part in the process but will continue to pursue our goal until a definite solution is found, hopefully, in the near future.